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Trombonists’ paradise

November jazz concert headlined by Herwig, Simerly

“Jazz at the Millennium” is set for Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Millennium Centre, featuring international jazz trombonists Conrad Herwig and Rick Simerly and The Charles Goodwin Trio, all performing with the ETSU Jazz Ensemble.

The event, the first concert of the 2007-08 jazz concert series, is being put on by East Tennessee State University and the ETSU Jazz program, under the direction of Dr. David Champouillon.

Herwig and Simerly will also present a master class that afternoon from 3-5 p.m. in Mathes Hall on the ETSU campus. Tickets go on sale starting Nov. 1 in the ETSU Music Department (439-4270) General admission seats are $10 and VIP seats (priority seating and artist reception) are $20.

Herwig is a jazz trombonist from New York City and has recorded 17 albums as a leader. His new CD releases are “Sketches of Spain y Mas” and “Another Kind of Blue — The Latin Side of Miles Davis” on Half Note Records, which was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award.

These are the follow-up projects to the 1998 Grammy-nominated CD, “The Latin Side of John Coltrane.” His most recent solo recordings on the CrissCross label are “Obligation,” “Land of Shadow,” “Hieroglyphica,” “Unseen Universe,” “Osteology” and “Heart of Darkness,” which received 4 1/2 stars in DownBeat Magazine. He has also been voted #1 Jazz Trombonist (TDWR) in the 1998, 1999 and 2002 Downbeat Jazz Critics’ Poll.

In constant demand as a sideman, Herwig has been a featured member in the Joe Henderson Sextet, Tom Harrell’s Septet and Big Band and the Joe Lovano Nonet (featured as a soloist on Lovano’s Grammy Award-winning “52nd St Themes”). Herwig also performs and records with Eddie Palmieri’s La Perfecta II and Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet, Paquito D’Rivera’s Havana-New York Connection, the Mingus Big Band (often serving as musical director, and as arranger on the new 2007 Grammy nominated “Live at the Tokyo Blue Note”) and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (Jon Faddis, musical director) among many others.

Simerly is a jazz trombonist and currently associate professor of music at Milligan College. He has been described by David Baker as “…one of the most exciting and consistently creative trombonists in jazz today.” Jamey Aebersold depicts him as “an astounding player with fantastic range and a keen sense of developing a solo.”

The Online Trombone Journal states “Rick Simerly is in the upper ranks of contemporary trombonists,” while the Jazz Review declares “when jazz fans think about great trombone players, only a few names come to mind, J.J. Johnson, Steve Turre or maybe Bill Watrous. Soon jazz fans will be praising the slide horn of Rick Simerly.”

The International Trombone Association Journal wrote “Rick leaves no doubt about his mastery.”

Simerly has played in the bands of Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Nelson Riddle, Les Elgart, Bob Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Buddy Morrow and the last band of Charlie Spivak. He has toured with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra under the direction of David Baker and has performed with jazz artists Billy Taylor, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Rufus Reid, Faddis, Bobby Shew, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Milt Hinton, Eric Alexander, Dave McKenna, Butch Miles, Adam Nussbaum, Plas Johnson, Jake Hanna, Tommy Newsom, Joe Wilder, Pat LaBarbera and many others.

He has been a featured performer on the “JazzSouth” radio series on more than 200 U.S. sta tions. His latest CD, “Obscurity,” is on the Double-Time label. For more than 20 years he has been in music education and is a regular faculty member at the famed Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops.

The Charles Goodwin Trio continues to be a leader in the region in all aspects of jazz performance. Charles Goodwin, piano, has been performing for more than 60 years and continues to amaze audiences with his technique and musicianship. The Trio includes Fred Goodwin on bass and Rande Sanderbeck on percussion.

The ETSU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Champouillon, has quickly become a much sought-after performing group throughout the region. It is staffed by 20 student musicians dedicated to the art of big band jazz and improvisation. Literature performed includes all styles of jazz from straight ahead to bebop to Latin to blues and rock.

The ensemble has performed with Faddis, Marvin Stamm, Vince DiMartino and Ed Shaughnessy, among others. This concert will be the premiere performance showcasing The Topalian Jazz Scholars. They include Danny Williams and Jessica Rose on saxophones and Will Outlaw, Sarah Edmonds and Rachel Reece on trombones.

For more information, call Champouillon at 439-6955 or email champoui@etsu.edu.

from Johnson City Press 10/3/07 

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MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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